The representational fallacy

by DanielDeRossi1 min read25th Jun 20142 comments


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Basically Heather Dyke argues that metaphysicians are too often arguing from representations of reality (eg in language) to reality itself.

 It looks to me like a variant of the mind projection fallacy. This might be the first book length treatment teh fallacy has gotten though.  What do people think?


See reviews here

To give bit of background there's a debate between A-theorists and B-theorists in philosophy of time.

A-theorists think time has ontological distinctions between past present and future

B-theorists hold there is no ontological distinction between past present and future.

Dyke argues that a popular argument for A-theory (tensed language represents ontological distinctions) commits the representational fallacy. Bourne agrees , but points out an argument Dyke uses for B-theory commits the same fallacy.

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The reviews are fairly critical. Anything in the book that struck you as particularly compelling? What do you think about the discussion of the A vs. B theory debate, or was there another issue you thought she discussed in a particularly interesting way?

I just thought the discussion on the fallacy was really interesting and people here might want to know about it. I haven't read the book , but been looking at teh reviews and some of Dyke's free papers. From the summaries she's saying it has implications eg for people who are interested in metaethics or metaphysics and talk about moral language or material constitution. It probably is relevant to some of the sequences here. Especially the one on reductionism , language and philosophy in general. I definitely think the A vs B theory debate is interesting. It really about time as we represent it in physics vs time as we experience it and describe it in language (at least that's what I feel the major issue is).